How do honey farmers move hives without losing all the bees?


How do honey farmers move hives without losing all the bees?

In: 52

It’s a lot simpler than it sounds,

Bees want to be in the hive at night.

So…you wait til dusk. Then you walk over and literally shut the hive so that he bees cannot get out.

Then you move the hive.

The few individuals who are not in the hive when you move it, those are expendable.

They usually use these cardboard boxes called nuc boxes. Which are light weight and easy to close off and carry around. As far as getting they bees in the box you really only have to worry about the queen. Most of the bees will follow the queen.

You can move a hive a foot or a mile… Anything in between ( say to the other end of a paddock) and the bees can’t find their way home. Moving them a significant distance resets them and they’ll learn the new location of the hive before flying off

We load them all on trucks after dark when they are all inside the hive. Then we drive them to their destination and get them unloaded before the sun comes out. If we have to move them long distances then we park the truck during the day and resume moving the next night.

I move several thousand boxes back and forth between farms every month

Hey, I grew up on an apiary so I can finally contribute!

The short answer is you wait till it gets dark and the bees are inside their hive and more subdued, then you plug the entrance to the hive to prevent them getting out, and you just move the hive. Yes, you can still get stung because there’s always a few feisty bees that manage to find their way out.

Dad had an old Isuzu Trooper that could fit several Supers (the boxy bodies of the hive) in the back and he’d hook it up to a little trailer so we could move several more when it came time to harvest the honey.

Honestly, you really shouldn’t need to move the hives all that often unless you’re maybe offering pollination services to farmers.